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Crystal Storm: A Falling Kingdoms Novel Hardcover – December 13, 2016
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PRAISE for the FALLING KINGDOMS series:
"Morgan Rhodes has created a rich, living fantasy world and characters that immediately draw the reader in. This is one of those series you can't help but be obsessed with. I can't wait to see what happens next!" —Richelle Mead, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Vampire Academy and The Glittering Court
“An otherworldly epic...evocative and intricate.”—Publishers Weekly
“…You must have this book on your shelves.” —Bustle
“Falling Kingdoms is a superbly written and character-driven narrative.” —Bookpage
“[A] YA Game of Thrones full of intrigue, betrayal, lies and love.” —The Guardian
"Falling Kingdoms will gut you emotionally. It will make you ache, cry, and beg for the sequel as you turn the last page. I absolutely loved it." —Julie Kagawa, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Queen
“In this Game of Thrones-esque high fantasy, Rhodes has created a world that’s raging with war, deceit, spoiled royals, and a populous needing little to spark a revolution.” —NPR/WAMC’s The Roundtable
"From an opening dripping with blood, magic, and betrayal through complex interweaving plots detailing treachery, deceit, and forbidden love, this novel is the first in a projected series that will immediately engage readers and keep them intrigued.” —Booklist
About the Author
Morgan Rhodes is the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series. Under another pen name, she's an award-winning author of more than two dozen novels. Morgan lives in Southern Ontario. Connect with her on Twitter @MorganRhodesYA or visit fallingkingdoms.com for more info.
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Top Customer Reviews
I implore you all here and now. If you haven’t read Crystal Storm by the incredibly talented (and sometimes evil) Morgan Rhodes then do so now…if you like suffering due to waiting for the next book! If you can get over the shocks and stuns of Frozen Tides and wait another year…you’ll be much obliged! Because yes, Crystal Storm, despite being one of the most exciting and incredible reads of the year...has a cliffhanger. And one that will positively drive you batty for the next 12 months! And I’ve just now learned…GASP! The next book is the FINAL book!! Eeee gads I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!!! But good news for all you who are being good and trying to wait, you can finally finish it all up next year!
I’m quite an emotional mess right now. In some sense I was suspecting something of this kind to happen. Something that would drive the stake further into my heart and make me wallow in misery…to help feed Morgan’s muse of course! But that ending…yeah…I didn’t prepare myself FOR THAT!
Okay, enough with the ending…for now, at least. We pick up right where we left off in Frozen Tides which was seeing Ashur alive and well. He too is apparently phoenix bound or took a similar potion because he felt like he couldn’t trust his sister one hundred percent. This book, should you choose to read it, but do read it somewhere down the line, maybe just before the final book?, is one that’s filled with many, many surprises and shocks! Some will thrill you, some will terrify you, and oh god it was just so freaking awesome!
I’m always a little hesitant with fantasies because you never know how complex the world-building might be. Some series can really pack in those details and throw thousands of impossible words at you and have a history that’s pivotal to know in order to understand the current happenings, but is rarely ever given out in a timely matter. This is not one of those series. This series has always dealt with all those things in a way that is easy to understand. True, there are still some foggy areas or it’s my foggy memory at work when it comes to the more magical side of the history, but things aren’t overly complicated here. But at the same time, nothing is ever simple either.
There are so many plans happening in this one too. Our usual cast of characters is still around and it seems they are all working towards the same goal. Firstly, King Gaius is still kicking, but barely and he wants Magnus and Cleo to help him find his mother so that she can heal him, help them find Lucia, and to help Cleo remove a curse that was placed on her mother and also transferred to her during birth, which is being killed in a painful matter during childbirth. Then we have Lucia who is trying to find a way to get Kyan back, she killed his host body but not himself and she wants to find a way to stop him once and for all. Amara is still trying to rule the world and seems to have everyone wrapped around her little finger. Things are chaotic, but as I might have already said, it’s a good chaotic!
It still amazes me that sooo much can happen in these books but I never once feel lost or overwhelmed. Morgan knows how to keep the main storyline going and tie in everyone’s side adventures and whatnot into the main arc. And if this ending—not the evil cliffhanger part—was anything to go by, I think we’ll be seeing some pretty impossible things in the final book!
My emotions were once again tossed all over the place in this one! I’ve been a big Magnus and Cleo fan probably since the second or third book. Just when those little tiny hints at something more were starting but they were both constantly fighting it. And I was thrilled that we saw them finally admit it to each other and themselves in the previous book. This book has some nice steamy moments between them, but also tamed as Cleo is possibly cursed to die should she have a child. But then in what seems the true twist of fate, just as we see this couple start to commit to each other, Fate throws a few monkey wrenches at them!
In another bizarre twist of fate, Jonas ends up helping Lucia out and trying to get her into the big plan that the group has developed. I admit I expected this to be a larger part of the story, but really didn’t come about until the last quarter or so. It’s tough to say if we’re supposed to be seeing something else happening between these two or if it merely is what it appears to be.
Despite being considerably shorter than its predecessors, a LOT happens in this book! So much so that I feel like I can’t touch on enough details to tell you all how exciting and freaking amazing this book was…despite that cliffhanger ending. This book truly blew me away with all its stunning happenings and characters that continue to amaze me! I seriously love all these guys! Even the ones I hate, I kind of love to hate them! Morgan pulls no punches in this one…or any of the books! You almost can’t love anyone too much because you never know what may happen. Things will always surprise you. But I think it’s safe to say, in fantasy, anything goes!
Crystal Storm was one of the most thrilling and action packed reads I’ve read in a while! It’s a book that will take your breath away…multiple times! It’s basically breathtaking! It’s filled with fights and battles, magic, and romance, and of course some well-placed humor…it has everything you could ever hope for! Morgan Rhodes will always be one of my most favorite authors for this series, despite those heart-wrenching cliffhangers. But I would like to pass on my wisdom to you new readers, if you haven’t read this series…DO! But start it next December. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it later. If only I had listened to others about this cliffhanger here, I wouldn’t be suffering. But suffer I must.
Dear goodness…is it 2017 yet?!
Overall Rating 5/5 stars
The cliffhanger at the end of Frozen Tides was pretty terrible. I mean, I had expected to find Ashur alive. At least I'd hoped it. And when that happened, I was overjoyed. With the way everything had played out during the fourth book, I was pretty much expecting it to happen at some point. And I was completely right about the reason he returned from the grave. There were other things, however, I was not expecting.
Before I'd read the synopsis of Crystal Storm, I'd expected to see Gaius dead. Clearly, that has not happened. And the reason for this is brought to light pretty early on in the book.
So Gaius comes back basically from the dead, and he's a new man. Transformed into the man he used to be, remorseful, capable to love. How strange, right? This is not the Gaius Damora we all know and hate. And yet, even though he is clearly still an antagonist, I find it hard to hate him as much as I did before. We learn so much more about him and his relationship with Elena (Cleo's mother), as well as his relationship with his own mother. Yes, he hardened himself and became pretty evil. But I could almost understand why.
And then, of course, there was the sudden appearance of Taran Ranus, also known as Theon's identical twin brother. Well that complicates things, now doesn't it? So even though we hardly had Theon in Falling Kingdoms, it was great to learn a little more backstory on him. And I can't wait to learn even more about the two of them in the next book.
So this book is fairly short. It's only 379 pages long, which took me merely a day to complete. And unlike the first four books, this one only takes place over a few weeks at most. The first four books take place over a period of just over a year. And as usual, we pick up right as we left off. But there was no idle time or time gaps anywhere.
I'd honestly forgotten about what was going on with Lucia at the end of Frozen Tides. I hadn't remembered that she'd battled with Kyan and ended up in the Sanctuary. Of course, she sets off immediately to find Timotheus, rightly so. She is driven, now, to protect herself and her child, as well as attempting to make amends for all the evil things she did while in Kyan's company. And I won't say much, but she does at least make a small dent in redeeming herself.
Kyan, however, is very much changed from his battle with Lucia. And he has a hidden ability that makes him even more conniving than he was before.
Of course then we have Magnus and Cleo, who I was seriously routing for. Oh, but they cannot show their affection for each other without upsetting their friends. So while they do have some heated moments and arguments, they are much subdued. Still, I love watching them argue. Okay, I really just love Magnus.
By the end of the book, I had really begun to care much more for Lucia again. Let's face it, she was pretty terrible in the last book. But she has so much stuff going on now. She was my least favorite of the four protagonists, but I'm actually invested in her story again now. And then we have Jonas and just what???
Of course, we don't get to see much of the world this time. Everyone stays basically in the same place. And it's a place we've been before many times. I had hoped we would explore more of Mytica or even Kraeshia, but, alas, we did not.
So the end? Oh. My. God.
People have not been kidding about the killer. I would not have seen that coming if I hadn't been slightly spoiled. Between Magnus and the rest of the crew and the kindred, I don't know how I will survive until the sixth book comes out in December.
While I whole-heartedly recommend this series, I think perhaps you should wait on reading Frozen Tides and Crystal Storm until closer to the release date of the last book.
Characters: 5 stars
Plot: 5 stars
Writing: 4 stars
World: 4 stars
Feels: 5 stars
Total - 4.5 stars